Monthly Archives: August 2011

Watch This Space, an Update

A short ten days ago I posted a piece called Watch This Space. If you follow the link, you will find tiny, newly hatched hummingbirds in the nest. I admit that I was negligent in following up on the chicks’ progress. Eleven days after I took those photos I had lunch with Jill, who mentioned that I should come by her house because the tiny birds were now about to fledge. I went to her house yesterday evening, and one of the chicks had already fledged, leaving one still in the nest. I was fortunate to get photos of the remaining chick.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, a closer view.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, a closer view.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, even closer.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chick, even closer.

Update: Jill called me today, August 18th, and said that she watched the chick fledge at about 10:00 a.m. today.

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Hummingbirds at Sandia Crest–Part II

Yesterday I posted photos of individual hummingbirds at Sandia Crest. Those photos, however, do not begin to show the large numbers of hummingbirds that were at the feeders. Here are a few group photos:

Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico. Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico. Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

I took this short video of the hummingbirds skirmishes at the feeders. I hope you enjoy it.

I hope to do one more blog post on this trip to Sandia Crest which will show the lovely scenery and views from the area.

View of the tram at Sandia Crest

Update: I have posted photos and commentary on my walk up to Sandia Crest on my Photo Flurries blog.

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Hummingbirds at Sandia Crest–Part I

Recently Bosque Bill and I drove to Sandia Crest to enjoy the scenery, the wildflowers and the birds that are in the area. Sandia Crest rises to 10,600 feet above the Rio Grande Valley below, and it is an easy one-hour drive from my house in Corrales. There were fewer wildflowers than we saw last year, undoubtedly because of the lack of rainfall. The hummingbirds, however, were out in force. There were Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds and a Calliope or two, although I did not get any photos of the Calliopes. Almost all of the birds that we saw were females. The males have probably already begun their migration south.

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

A kerfuffle amongst the ladies.

Female Rufous Hummingbirds, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Incoming female Rufous Hummingbirds

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Rufous Hummingbird, Sandia Crest, New Mexico.

Female Rufous Hummingbird

These single photos do not begin to show the numbers of birds at the feeders and how active the birds are. I will show those in my next post.

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Watch This Space

My friend Jill called me this weekend to say that she has a hummingbird nest with baby hummingbirds at her house. I went over to see them and found the nest in a Chinese pistache tree. The nest is a bit smaller than a golf ball.

Black-chinned Hummingbird nest, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Black-chinned Hummingbird nest

A closer look revealed two tiny hummingbird chicks in the nest.

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Black-chinned Hummingbird chicks

On the way home I saw these beautiful lilies. They have nothing to do with a post about hummingbird chicks, but they were lovely!

Lilies, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

Lilies, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque

If the hummingbird chicks thrive I will be posting periodic updates of their progress. Watch this space.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Juvenile male Wood Duck

Juvenile male Wood Duck

Juvenile female Wood Duck

Wood Ducks

Male and female juvenile wood ducks

Juvenile male Wood Duck.

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Filed under Albuquerque Biopark, Albuquerque birds

A Summer Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I decided to visit Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Bill is very enthusiastic about dragonflies, and there are many of them at Bosque del Apache in summer. I am always up for a road trip. It had been several years since I had visited there in summer, and I was looking forward to seeing the refuge. I knew it would be hot, and so I packed lots of cold drinks along with a cold picnic lunch.

We arrived at the refuge at mid-morning. As usual, the view across the refuge toward the hills was lovely.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills, Bosque del Apache NWR.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills.

It was interesting to see that in summer, the areas which in fall and winter are ponds for migrating birds are covered with plants that will become food for ducks, geese and cranes when the ponding areas are flooded in fall.

Pond area, Bosque del Apache NWR

In fall this area will be flooded and will become a pond for migrating waterfowl.

With temperatures hovering near 100ºF there was not a great deal of bird activity, but we did see a few birds:

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron hunts in an acequia

Black Phoebe

A Black Phoebe hunts for insects at a pond on the Marsh Loop.

An unruly gang of Neotropic Cormorants were roosting on snags along the Seasonal road.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants

We saw Blue Grosbeaks and Northern Mockingbirds and a few raptors. Either they were too far away for photos, or I was not quick enough with my camera. What we did see were dragonflies. They were beautiful!

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Blue Darter

Blue Darter

By early afternoon Bosque Bill and I were hot and tired, and we took a break to eat our picnic lunch and tour the Visitor’s Center. After a lovely lunch we walked around the Visitor’s Center. Bosque Bill flushed a large covey of Gambel’s Quail sheltering from the midday sun under a Three-Leaf Sumac. I don’t know who was more startled, Bill or the quail. I was laughing so hard that I didn’t get a photo.

I sat in the (blessedly) air-conditioned Visitor’s Center and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders. Black-chinned Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds were very busy defending the food source. I took some photos through the viewing window.

Male Rufous Hummingbird

A male Rufous Hummingbird vigilantly guards the feeder.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds share the feeder with the Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Another look at the hummingbirds around the feeder.

There were Bullock’s and Scott’s Orioles at the feeders as well.

Scott's Oriole

The hummingbirds fled when a Scott's Oriole landed on the feeder.

Scott's Oriole

This Scott's Oriole likes hummingbird nectar.

Bullock's Oriole

A Bullock's Oriole watches from a nearby tree …

Bullock's Oriole

… and announces his arrival at the feeder.

Very few people visit Bosque del Apache in summer. It is hot, and it lacks the large numbers of migratory waterfowl that are present in the other seasons. There is still a great deal to see.

Flowers

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